I’ve been overweight most of my life. I used to hate my body. I was convinced that this was the reality and there was nothing I could do to change it. I tried every diet, and I hated exercising. I hated the way people looked at me and judged me based on the way I looked. People used to tease me in high school about my weight. They used to call me “Fatty Lee”.
At a certain point, I felt really low. I was sick of the teasing, sick of the glares. Thinking I’ve tried everything to no result, I fell into the darkest time of my life. I had an eating disorder. Luckily, I’ve managed to recover from it eventually, but it was a long journey. This last week I had a reunion with the people from my high school. At first, I was adamant about not going. I was afraid it would be too big of a trigger for me. These people used to torment me. But I ended up going.
As a result of my eating disorder, I lost a lot of weight. I honestly thought it would make me happy. But let me assure you, it didn’t. I felt awful. I was ashamed of what I did to my body, I still do. But unlike me, society seems to accept me more. When I got to the venue, many people didn’t recognize me. When they did, they called excitedly: “Fatty Lee? Is that you? Wow, look at you! You look amazing!”, or “You look like a whole other person”.
And you know what? I am a new person, but not in the way they all think. After what I have done to myself I have changed emotionally. My personality changed. I became more moody, more depressed. My boyfriend told me I was distant and very hard to reach. My family and my boyfriend set up an intervention for me. They saved me. I pushed everyone away, but they stayed and for that, I couldn’t be more grateful.
I have worked a lot on gaining confidence. After my recovery, I started treating my body better. I started working out, something I’ve always hated doing. I went to a dietician in order to build a balanced, healthy menu for myself. I went to meetings. I was proactive about being healthy, and although the journey was hard, it made me who I am today. But here is the thing, unlike my former classmates and society, I don’t love myself more now. During my journey I came across the most important lesson I’ve learned: I was always myself, and that’s the most important thing.
When you get to that point where you know who you are, what you’re worth, you can quiet all the background noise, focus on yourself, and let go.